Before we really get into static stretching, you can take a minute to learn more about flexibility training. It’s always best to have a solid understanding of what flexibility training is, so you can apply the knowledge to each of the various stretching strategies.
The goal of static stretching is to gradually increase the length of the muscles. Static stretching can be done by anyone, regardless of age, weight, or fitness level, and stretches can be modified to meet the specific flexibility of an athlete.
There is a lot to learn about flexibility, so now we will examine the hows, whys, whens, and wheres of using static stretching exercises.
Before we really get into dynamic stretching, you can take a minute to learn more about flexibility training. It’s always best to have a solid understanding of what flexibility training is, so you can apply that knowledge to each of the various stretching strategies.
Dynamic stretching uses momentum and an exaggerated range of motion to warm up muscles for the subsequent exercise. The main caveat of dynamic stretching is that the stretch position is not held, as it is with static stretching.
Dynamic stretching involves moving parts of your body and gradually increasing reach, speed of movement, or both. This is not to be confused with ballistic stretching and static stretching, which can be dangerous when used at the beginning of your workouts.
Dynamic stretching can be performed before or after a medium intensity 5-minute dynamic warm-up consisting of jogging, jumping jacks, or jumping rope.
Never begin a ballistic or static stretching session cold. Warm-up to stretch, but NEVER stretch to warm up. Conversely, dynamic stretching can be used when you’re still cold.
Let’s figure out how, why, when, and where to use dynamic stretching.
Flexibility training is one of the most under-utilized and under-appreciated components of fitness.
Stretching has been under constant scrutiny from fitness experts who question the role of flexibility in injury prevention. Despite the debate, athletes can enhance recovery and performance from a stretching regime, and in my opinion the right kind of stretching used at the right time definitely helps to prevent injury.
Most any powerful sports movement you can think of, can benefit from flexibility. From a football punt, to sprints, to swimming, to a tennis backswing, all intense moves need prior warm up and can often generate more power with an increased range of motion (ROM).
The simplest way to stretch for strength is to use dynamic stretching drills before exercise and modified static stretching drills after exercise. It is actually much more complex than that, so keep reading to find out more.
Did you know back pain is one of the most common reasons people miss work? It’s also the third most common reason people visit the doctor. Fortunately, there are plenty of good stretches for upper back pain for you to try. These stretches should help you live pain-free!
Pilates is by far one of the most popular exercise methods practiced in today’s society. This is partly because it is so easily altered to suit a myriad of different people. Pilates can be tailored to every skill level, most body types, it can even work with many disabilities. It builds strength and promotes flexibility. The strengthening program is ideal for rehabilitating many types of injuries and the flexible portion is great for preventing many injuries.
There are many books and videos to help people practice at home, but many people prefer a class setting. There are many reasons for this some which may include a more structured learning environment and a built-in support group. Because of this, people tend to seek out a class anytime they begin practicing pilates, go to a new area, travel, or move.
In some locations, it is easy to find a pilates class while others prove to be incredibly difficult. The primary reason for this is that bigger areas tend to have more classes available while smaller areas may only have one, possibly even none. So here, you will find a guide on how to find the right pilates class for you.(more…)
I recently made a post on how to exercise while traveling. Below you will find a few ideas that you can perform. These can be done at home as well, which can save you a ton of cash in gym memberships.
You won’t get nearly the results you’d get from training regularly with real free weight equipment, but certainly it works in a pinch.
Lunges – Take a step forward, bend the front leg until your thigh is parallel with the ground, and step back. Repeat on the other side. Be careful not to come down hard on the knee of the back leg.
Chair Dips – Sit on the edge of a chair, with your legs straight out in front with your knees locked. Place a hand directly under each cheek, and scoot your bottom off of the chair. Slowly lower your body, and when you have gone down as far as you feel comfortable, push yourself back to the top.
Jump Squats – Bend at the knees, back straight, eyes looking ahead. Touch your hands just below the knees, and jump straight up. Land softly, and repeat.
Push-ups – Laying face first on the floor, place your hands on either side of you chest. Keeping your legs, and back straight, push yourself straight up off of the floor. After you have reached the top, lower yourself down.
Planks – Start off in a push-up position, except this time place your elbows, resting on your forearms. Simply hold this position for 30-60 seconds.
There you have it. Do two to three sets of this routine, with 10-15 reps per set, and you have just done a body weight routine that will build muscle and tone up what you already have.
Arthur Boorman was a disabled veteran of the Gulf War for 15 years, and was told by his doctors that he would never be able to walk on his own, ever again.
He stumbled upon an article about Diamond Dallas Page doing Yoga and decided to give it a try — he couldn’t do traditional, higher impact exercise, so he tried DDP YOGA and sent an email to Dallas telling him his story.
Dallas was so moved by his story, he began emailing and speaking on the phone with Arthur throughout his journey – he encouraged Arthur to keep going and to believe that anything was possible. Even though doctors told him walking would never happen, Arthur was persistent. He fell many times, but kept going.
Arthur was getting stronger rapidly, and he was losing weight at an incredible rate! Because of DDP’s specialized workout, he gained tremendous balance and flexibility — which gave him hope that maybe someday, he’d be able to walk again.
His story is proof, that we cannot place limits on what we are capable of doing, because we often do not know our own potential. Niether Arthur, nor Dallas knew what he would go on to accomplish, but this video speaks for itself. In less than a year, Arthur completely transformed his life. If only he had known what he was capable of, 15 years earlier.
Do not waste any time thinking you are stuck – you can take control over your life, and change it faster than you might think.
Hopefully this story can inspire you to follow your dreams – whatever they may be.
One of the fastest ways to develop increased static-passive flexibility, isometric stretching uses the resistance of muscle groups through isometric contractions of the target muscles. Isometric stretching is even more effective than active stretching or passive stretching.
Isometric stretches help to develop strength in the target muscles and seems to decrease the amount of pain usually associated with stretching. Static-active flexibility is also increased due to the use of muscular contractions.
This is not isometric stretching, but it’s a cool image.
Now we can examine how, why, when, and where to use isometric stretching. You can then decide if isometric stretching is right for you.
Before we really get into ballistic stretching, you should take a minute to learn more about the basics of flexibility training.
Ballistic stretching is probably the most dangerous form of flexibility training you can use, but when done properly can significantly increase your range of motion (ROM). This is a very advanced form of flexibility training that is not considered very useful due to the potential for injury.
There is very little worth knowing about ballistic stretching, but we will go over all of it anyway, just so you know the how, where, when, and why to use ballistic stretching; or more accurately the how, where, when, and why NOTs.
Before we really get into proprioceptive muscular facilitation (PNF) stretching, you should take a minute to learn more about the basics of flexibility training.
PNF stretching is probably the most effective form of flexibility training available to you for increasing your range of motion (ROM). This is a more advanced form of flexibility training, involving both the stretch and contraction of the targeted muscle group.
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